“WOW, I just had the best experience ever!”
We’ve all used a phrase similar to this when we’ve been to a great restaurant, had a wonderful massage, or found that perfect CPA to trust with your taxes. You want all your friends and family to have the same experience; so you share your fortunate find with everyone you talk to for the next couple of weeks and even memorialize it on social media. Did you know you are creating referrals for those businesses?
In my previous blog, Relationship Marketing, we talked about building relationships with your customer base; so let’s take it one step further and build a foundation forReferral Marketing. Where we hope for referrals to grow our business, “Hope is not a strategy.”
Here are three ways to market your business through referrals:
#1 – Develop a loyalty program, frequent buyer or use coupons
Consider using a text service to offer coupons during slow business days or offer cards that can be stamped on each visit resulting in a discount or free “widget” upon the 10th visit. In my business, I offer a free annual membership renewal for every 10 referrals resulting in new members. If you can implement a “thank you” for your referrals program, you can create additional business to increase your bottom line.
#2 – Join a local Chamber of Commerce (Grapevine is the best!), a meetup.com group, a referral networking organization or all three!
In a Chamber of Commerce, you have the ability to develop community relationships that result in other members referring business but remember this goes back to building those key relationships. If you’re not familiar with meetup.com, there are groups for everything you can possibly imagine – from sailing and dog walking to technology and singles. You name it; you can find it on meetup. A referral networking organization is designed to help your business grow through referrals. The goal is to educate your fellow members about your business so they know how to refer people to you. Think of it as being part of a sales team for each members’ business. Our motto is, “Don’t Hire a Sales Team, Join One!”
#3 – Become the resource for your family, friends and business network
There’s nothing like being the one everyone comes to and asks, “Who do you know?” This is important because your name comes up regularly in conversations, which keeps you top of mind for your own business. Everyone wants to do business with people they know and trust, but most people aren’t networked enough to make this happen. This is your opportunity to become that trusted resource.
Lastly, defining the difference in a lead and referral is important. I consider a lead a cold call. There are tons of lead generation tools available to collect contacts of potential customers, but they leave you selling your product or service to strangers. I consider a referral an introduction. When I refer someone, I make sure I send an email or call introducing both sides; so they know why I think they should connect. Recently, I thought I received a referral but when I called, the business told me they weren’t interested in my services or know why I was calling. Telling someone to call a particular business is NOT a referral; it’s a cold call. Both parties should understand the nature of the introduction.
Develop a referral marketing strategy that works for your business and become a trusted resource!
About the Author | Kay Wallace, TEAM Referral DFW
Kay Wallace is a speaker, trainer, social media strategist and has a referral networking organization, TEAM (Together Everyone Achieves More) Referral DFW. TEAM combines the best of face to face and online networking through exclusive category relationship marketing to help your business grow. We offer virtual, business & executive chapters, online memberships, community outreach and much more. Referrals are the best way to market your business so “Don’t Hire a Sales Team, Join One.”
Visit TEAM Referral DFW online at www.TEAMReferralDFW.com